The Philippines turned back Turkmenistan, 21-14, to secure its first quarterfinals appearance in the International Basketball Federation of Basketball Associations (FIBA) 3×3 Under-18 World Cup on Friday night in Chengdu, China.
AJ Edu, Rhayyan Amsali, Juan Gomez de Liaño and Encho Serrano displayed balanced scoring as the Filipino prodigies finished second in Pool A with a 3-1 win-loss record.
The Philippine team had a searing 5-0 start before erecting its biggest lead, 14-4, highlighted by Edu’s sensational drive to the basket.
Serrano secured the huge victory at the 1:32 mark as the former Adamson University junior stalwart sank an acrobatic shot off Amsali’s pass.
Earlier, the delegation outplayed Poland, 20-14, in a wire-to-wire game to start the day with a win.
The seventh seed Philippines edged out Israel (No. 16), 19-17, in its opening match before absorbing a 10-13 defeat from top seed and eventual pool leader the Netherlands.
The young Filipino cagers next face surprise pool D topnotcher Belgium (No. 12) today in the knockout stage.